Tuesday, 30 July 2019


City `abandoned` by biggest landlord
An extraordinary recent attack on a major housing association in the House of Commons  echoes another  attack when Riverside Housing Asssociation was accused of abandoning a city where it has 6,000 homes and is the biggest landlord.

See the source image Mark Francois (left) MP for Rayleigh and Wickford in Essex, told parliament that he has “had enough” of Sanctuary Housing Group, claiming that the group had “consistently provided a poor maintenance service to many of my constituents over a period of many years”.

He said Worcester-based Sanctuary was “highly dysfunctional” and “extremely badly run”.

The attack on Riverside came from Councillor Gareth Ellis (right)  Deputy Leader of Carlisle City Council who branded Riverside an “absentee landlord”.

 Image result for gareth ellis Carlisle council picture
 Liverpool-based Riverside, one of the biggest housing associations in the country -with 50,000 houses- took over the city`s council houses in 2002 and up to earlier this year ran them with a local governing board and a large staff  from a smart city centre office block  in Botchergate.

Now those offices are empty and Councillor Ellis told the city council  the closure was a “a sad deterioration”  of service to  Carlisle tenants and leaseholders.

He went on: “It does  feel like Riverside are just abandoning the city. This organisation has 7,000 to 8,500 tenants in the city.

“They have always had a  customer- focussing  interface either in this building- the Civic Centre- or a few years later in the building on Botchergate.

Logo of Riverside
Riverside`s Carlisle  offices now empty..."a sad deterioration."
“It seems a sad deterioration for the residents of Carlisle who have Riverside as their landlord who now  seem to have become an absentee landlord.”

After the meeting- the Business and Transformation Scrutiny Panel- Councillor Ellis said: “If Riverside did not want to manage Carlisle  accommodation, they should not have taken on Carlisle housing”
     Carlisle Tenants` and Residents` Federation publishes this blog. Information about the Federation is available on 01228 52227

Tuesday, 16 July 2019


City that led the way is proud no longer

This month is the 100th anniversary of the Addison Act  that gave the go ahead to council housing which has transformed every town and city in the country.

Nowhere was that transformation greater than in Carlisle.The city led Britain in the provision of council houses in the years between the two world wars

The anniversary is being celebrated in many places and the leading social housing magazine Inside Housing plans a series of articles looking at how the act transformed the social fabric of the country and created the housing sector we know today.

  The  act – the very first housing act passed in this country –is named after its sponsor Dr  Christopher Addison(above) a doctor and surgeon and a Liberal MP for Shoreditch in London, one of the most overcrowded districts of the capital.  He brought that expertise and experience to his vision and drive for housing as the first Minister of Health and Housing.

Playing a leading part in the 100th anniversary celebrations is  the acclaimed  social historian John Boughton who has told the full story of  council housing in his recently-published book : Municipal Dreams- the Rise and Fall of Council Housing.

Sadly, there is to be no anniversary celebrations in Carlisle despite the city`s proud inter-war record.John Boughton`s book has this to say about that record:

"Carlisle with its self-defined anti-socialist  council has a good claim to have built the most council houses per head of the population: 4,702, meaning that 27 per cent of the town`s population lived in council homes by 1939".

Image result for raffles carlisle picture
                                                                    Inter-war Carlisle council houses at Raffles
 Perhaps  there would have been celebrations in Carlisle if Labour had retained control of the city council at the recent May elections.But the city  is now Conservative controlled and few people expect support for council housing from the Tories.

Hopefully that position can be reversed, particularly as more and more city tenants are becoming dissatisfied with the bossy and inefficient  Riverside Housing Association of Liverpool which took over the city`s 6,000 council houses 17 years ago.
    Carlisle Tenants` and Residents` Federation publishes this blog. Information about the Federation is available on 01228 52227